D&D 5e: Rogue Class Guide

D&D 5e: Rogue Class Guide

Intro

The rogue. They’re experts at sneaking, thieving, and breaking into and out of bad situations.  If you’re looking to sneak around, stab enemies from the shadows and be relied on to open chests and disable traps by your party then this is the class for you. 

Below, we’ll discuss what races work well with the rogue class, the subclasses available, skills, armor, weapons, and much more. 

Epic

Good

Meh

Bad

Ability Scores

STR not needed

DEX Rogues rely on DEX

CON hit points are always good

INT 2nd highest if you’re playing as an Arcane Trickster, otherwise dump

WIS not needed

CHA 2nd highest if you’re playing up deception or more social interactions.

Races

Aarakocra Boost to DEX

Aasimar CHAR boost

Protector Nothing good for rogues.

Scourge You get a CON boost.

Fallen Nothing good for rogues. 

Bugbear Boost to DEX and STR. STR isn’t needed.

Centaur Nothing good for rogues.

Changeling: CHAR +2 and another stat +1

Dragonborn STR +2 and CHAR + 1 

Dwarf Con boost by 2. 

Hill Nothing good for rogues.

Mountain Nothing good for rogues.

Duergar: Nothing good for rogues.

Elf DEX boost by 2. 

Drow: CHAR + 1 

Eladrin: CHAR + 1

High: INT boost for Arcane Trickster

Wood: Nothing good for rogues.  

Sea Elf: CON +1

Shadar-kai: CON + 1

Firbolg Nothing good for rogues.

Genasi CON boost

Air Boost to DEX

Earth Nothing good or rogue.

Fire INT boost. Good for Arcane Trickster.

Water: Nothing good for rogues.

Gith Boost to INT so useful for an Arcane Trickster.

Githyanki Nothing good for rogues.

Githzerai Nothing good for rogues.

Gnome INT boost if you want to play an Arcane Trickster.

Deep DEX boost. 

Forest DEX boost.

Rock Boost to CON

Goblin boost to CON and DEX; good combo.

Goliath STR and CON but more STR than CON. 

Half-Elf 2 ability scores can be increased by 1 and +2 to CHAR.

Half-Orc STR and CON. STR isn’t necessary. 

Halfling DEX boost.

Lightfoot CHAR +1

Stout DEX boost

Hobgoblin CON and INT boost. Good for Arcane Trickers.

Human: Each ability score gets a +1. As a variant human, you get a feat.

Kalashtar WIS +2 and CHAR + 1; WIS isn’t necessary.

Kenku: DEX and WIS. Don’t need WIS.

Kobold DEX and -2 to STR.

Leonin CON and STR. More CON than STR. Con is good but STR isn’t needed.

Lizardfolk CON +2 and WIS +1. 

Loxodon CON and WIS. Don’t need WIS.

Minotaur STR and CON. More STR than CON. Not really worth it. 

Orc STR and CON boost but more STR than CON. Wouldn’t recommend it.

Satyr CHAR and DEX. More CHAR than DEX. 

Shifter

Beasthide: CON +2 and STR gets a +1. 

Longtooth: Your STR +2 and your DEX gets a +1. 

Swiftstride: DEX + 2 and CHAR +1. 

Wildhunt: DEX gets a +1 and WIS increases by 2 but WIS is not needed.

Simic Hybrid CON +2 and +1 to another stat.

Tabaxi DEX and CHAR. 

Triton CON, STR, and CHAR boost. STR isn’t necessary. 

Tiefling INT and CHAR boost. Good for Arcane Trickers. 

Asmodeus INT and CHAR boost. 

Baalzebul CHAR and INT boost. Could be used for an Arcane Trickster or another subclass.

Dispatcher CHAR and DEX. 

Fierna CHAR and WIS. For CHAR is good. WIS not so much.

Glasya CHAR and WIS. WIS isn’t needed. 

Levistus CHAR and CON. More CHAR than CON. Not a bad choice.

Mammon CHAR and INT boost. Not a good combo to have. Can still be used.

Mephistopheles Boost to CHAR and INT.

Zariel Boost to CHAR and STR. You don’t need STR.

Feral INT and DEX. Good if you’re going to play an Arcane Trickster.

Tortle Nothing good for rogues. 

Warforged CON and +1 to another stat.

Yuan-Ti Pureblood Boost to CHAR by 2  and INT by 1.

Class Features

Hit Points: 1d8 

Armor: Light

Weapons: simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords

Tools: Thieves’ tools

Expertise – gives you proficiency with 2 skills or doubles proficiency of what you already have

Cunning Action – you can dash, disengage, or hide as a bonus action

Uncanny Dodge – use reaction to take half damage from one attack

Reliable Talent – if you roll anything 9 or below on a skill check, you can treat it as a 10 instead.

Blindsense – locate invisible creatures within 10 feet, may or maynot be used.

Slippery Mind – gain proficiency in WIS saving throws, not too bad to have, useful in some situations

Elusive – enemies can’t get advantage while you’re not incapaciated 

Stroke of Luck – failing an attack roll, you can treat it as a 20 instead. Not great at a level 20 rogue.

Subclasses

Assassin – self-explanatory 

Thief – self-explanatory

Arcane Trickster – use magic for illusions and enchantments during combat.

Scout – you’re the vanguard, the eyes and ears of the party

Inquisitive – you play more or less like a detective picking out lies and mysteries, situational social interactions. 

Mastermind – manipulative, user of secrets, more for social interactions

Swashbuckler –  think Puss-in-Boots type characters, excels in combat

Phantom – information gatherers and spies, use death to your advantage

Soulknife – use psionic powers to kill

Skills

Acrobatics DEX based. You can wiggle out of things or parkour. 

Animal Handling WIS based.Very situational. 

Arcana INT based so an Arcane Trickster should be good at this.

Athletics STR based.

Deception you can lie very well

History INT based. Not used as much.

Insight WIS based. Good to have if you’re trying to know people’s intentions.

Intimidation CHAR based. Not used much to be honest. 

Investigation INT based. Used a lot in unfamiliar places or trying to find things. 

Medicine WIS based. Rogues don’t necessarily use this skill.

Nature This skill comes up not rarily but not often either.

Perception Good to have if you’re looking for traps.

Performance CHAR based. Usually, rogues aren’t the center of attention.

Persuasion your CHAR will make help you when persuading

Religion No one really takes it. Very rarely used.

Sleight of Hand more bread and butter for rogues

Stealth bread and butter for rogues

Survival WIS based. Decent to have but you won’t be too good at it. 

Top 3 Backgrounds

Charlatan – Proficiencies in Deception and Sleight of Hand, tool proficiency in disguise and forgery kit

Criminal – skill proficiencies in Deception and Stealth, one gaming set and thieves’s tools

Urchin – skill proficiencies in Sleight of Hand and Stealth. Tool proficiencies in disguise kit and thieves’ tools.

Top 3 Weapons

Longsword – 1d8 damage (STR based)

Rapier – 1d8 of damage (Finesse/DEX)

Light crossbow – 1d8 damage

I would also recommend obtaining a shortbow but that’s only a 1d6 of damage and doesn’t have the reload property as a light crossbow. 

Armor

Studded leather armor has a base armor class of 12 + DEX modifier. You might not get it at the beginning and leather armor isn’t too bad either. It has a base of 11 + DEX. 

Top 5 Feats

Sulker – if hidden, and your attack misses, you remain hidden

Alert – +5 to initiative, can’t be surprised, enemies don’t get advantage on you

Mobile – speed gain + 10 

Tough – this will give you more hit points

Crossbow expert – ignore reload property, you don’t get disadvantage if an enemy is within 5 ft of you.

I’d also like to include sharpshooter in this list. Doubles your range if you’re playing a range based rogue. 

Multiclass options

Fighter: Your STR or DEX must be at a 13. 

Wizard: Your INT must be at a 13. If you’re playing an Arcane Trickster, this will be possible. 

Sorcerer: Charisma needs to be at 13. 

Warlock: Charisma needs to be at 13.

Bard: Charisma needs to be at 13.

Sage Gamers

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